Rochester Cornelius Strickland

Entered office: January 01, 1941 | Left office: January 01, 1947
Date of birth: March 11, 1896 in Delta, Clay County, Alabama
Date of death: August 14, 1974 in Morton, Cochran County, Texas
Place of burial: Morton Memorial Cemetery, Morton, Cochran County, Texas

Rochester Cornelius Strickland was born March 11, 1896 in Delta, Clay County, Alabama. Along with his wife, Elsie, and their two children, Strickland moved to what would become the town of Bledsoe in the fall of 1925. Although the town site had been plotted and the lots sold, at the time of their arrival, the Strickland family and land agent Garland McCoy and his family were the only inhabitants. The Stricklands unloaded their cooking equipment and erected a canvas lean-to, which stretched from the side of their Model T truck to the ground. By winter the town was rapidly growing and the Stricklands had hauled lumber from Brownfield and built the first residence in the new town. Strickland’s skills as a carpenter, and use of his truck for hauling materials, were in high demand. After the railroad was completed the town flourished and a post office was built. Next door to the post office, the Stricklands operated Strickland’s Pharmacy. The family moved to Morton in 1931 where Strickland assumed the duties of county tax assessor-collector. At the time the county had no fund and vouchers were issued in lieu of salaries. County officials were hard pressed to pay living expenses until the vouchers could be redeemed for cash. Strickland would open a dry cleaning shop and a dry goods store. In 1941 Strickland was elected Cochran County Judge and served two terms in office. In 1947 the Stricklands built an "ultra modern" dry cleaning shop on West Washington and operated it until their retirement in 1967. Strickland was a charter member of the Morton Volunteer Fire Department, the Lions Club, and the American Legion Post #374 and served on the City Council. Judge Strickland died on August 14, 1974 of pneumonia at the age of 78.

R. C. Strickland in front of Strickland’s Cleaners 220 West Washtington, Morton, Texas

Source: Texas Sesquicentennial Texas ’ Last Frontier Cochran County 1836-1986 Volume 1. Copyright Cochran County Historical Commission written by Pat (Strickland) Mullinax circa 1985 adapted by Mary Helen McKnight 2016

Image in upper left contributed by Pam Jones Speed
Images below biography courtesy Texas’ Last Frontier Historical Museum

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